Equestrian statue

The story below is from a small collection by the Danish author Peter Adolphsen called ‘Små historier 2’ – Little stories 2. The translation is very unofficial and quickly made.

Here it goes:

Equestrian Statue
– Recipe of a sculpture

For this work of art is needed an equestrian statue made of bronze, appx. 20 electro-motors with cords and operating system, one sturdy steel pipe, nuts and so on.

All joints of man and horse are cut off, the neck of the rider, his shoulders, wrists, the horse’s ears, legs, tail etc., all places where it is possible and aesthetically appropriate. An electro-motor is installed in each of the cut-off joints so that it holds together the two parts and drives the one of them round. They revolve first the one way and then the other so that the cords – that are drawn on the inside of the statue and down through a steel pipe – will not become twisted. All motors drive slowly, but each at its own pace, to the effect that the finished statue once set in motion will never repeat exactly the same posture.

As regards the technical exhibition accessories, title of the sculpture, reflections reproduced on plates and in interviews, it is up to individual taste and temperament whether one will stress the status of the equestrian statue as a symbol of power in the history of art and claim that its unnatural movement is an illustration of art’s traditional surrender to the biddings of power, whether one will claim that the partially portrayed hollowness of the statue contributes to the old debate of shell and matter, or if one will let the visual impression stand alone to form a more naked presentation.

It is also up to the individual whether the sculpture should be in constant motion or be set in motion by the audience’s turning of a switch. Note that the latter solution appeals to children.

Peter Adolphsen
(I translated this from his “Små historier 2” (Little Stories, 2), Samleren, Copenhagen, 2000

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